Ponzi schemes have gotten a lot of attention from the media and the public in recent years. High-profile cases involving billions of dollars stolen from investors have made this type of investment fraud infamous. This crime got its name from a fraudulent investor who swindled dozens of people out of the money that they gave to him in good faith. The way that this scheme works is deceptively simple. First, the originator of the scheme will pose as an investor and promise huge returns. The investment money is never actually invested. Instead it is used to pay “dividends” to investors, who will then refer their acquaintances to the fraudulent investor, bringing in further ill-gotten gains.
Penalties for a Fraudulent Investment Operation
Ponzi schemes and other types of securities and investment fraud are punished harshly by both state and federal agencies. Because these schemes have the potential to defraud innocent people of billions of dollars, law enforcement agencies are relentless in their pursuit of individuals who carry out these schemes. Stiff penalties are routinely applied to fraud perpetrators after they have been found guilty in a court of law. These penalties can include lengthy prison sentences and extremely high fines. These fines are assessed, in part, to attempt to compensate people who have lost their investments to the scheme.
Defending Against Ponzi Scheme Accusations
Preparing a legal defense in a Ponzi scheme case requires the expertise and experience of an attorney who specializes in fraud cases. Some of the usual defenses may include:
- Evidence analysis: Although study of the evidence is routine in all criminal cases, it must be studied even more extensively in Ponzi scheme cases. The Ponzi scheme attorney must determine if there is sufficient evidence linking the defendant to the criminal activities.
- Forensic accountants: These specialists are trained to examine and study financial records related to an alleged white-collar crime. It is their job to find out when, where and how money was exchanged and if any illegal activities occurred. If they find such evidence, they use data analysis and careful research to construct a defense for the client.
- Computer experts: Most modern fraud schemes are perpetrated over the Internet. Forensic computer specialists have the difficult task of analyzing hard drives, emails, chat logs and online bank account transfers to determine when and if any fraudulent activities took place.
Call a Houston Fraudulent Pyramid Scheme Lawyer
Some of the biggest legal cases in recent history involved securities and investment fraud in some way. Due to media exposure, false information about these frauds has become widespread. Only a qualified Ponzi scheme lawyer who specializes in fraud cases can be counted on to sift through the misinformation and get to the real facts of the case. Talk to Houston Ponzi scheme lawyer James Alston today to schedule a free legal consultation.
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